Stopped by Citadel Pro Day to talk with football coach Kevin Higgins and get his reaction to the news that Georgia Southern and App State will leave the SoCon for the Sun Belt.
What’s your reaction to losing Georgia Southern and App from the SoCon?
KH: “It’s not surprise, it’s been in the works for so long, it was just a matter of time. But people across the country, when they look at the SoCon, they look at Georgia Southern and App State. They’ve had a tremendous history of national championships, and they’ve meant a lot to the league.”
Where should the SoCon look going forward?
KH: “Now the task is to bring in the best teams you can possibly find that will be a fit for the SoCon. I think there are enough teams out there. An interesting league in the Colonial with George Mason leaving there. You look at Delaware (rumored to be an Atlantic 10 target) and James Madison (also eyed by the Sun Belt) and what might be happening with their football schools. Richmond and William & Mary are two schools that would bring a lot of credibility and are very similar to our programs.”
Georgia Southern and App State will be ineligible for the SoCon title and FCS playoffs in 2013. What does that mean for The Citadel?
KH: Those two teams are very, very good. But from a personal standpoint, after beating them last year, it’s still about Wofford. That’s our first league game next year, and then Chattanooga and Samford have been on the rise. Both those teams have most of their players coming back. Furman and Elon will be good as well. Even with GSU and App leaving, there are a lot of good teams left in the SoCon to compete with.”
How important is it for the SoCon to maintain its reputation as a top FCS league?
KH:”You always want a competitive league, but it’s not just about having great football teams in the league. It’s important to look at teams from an academic standpoint, and then geography comes into play. It’s got to be a match from an institutional standpoint.”